Regis Philbin is one of the many people who died in what’s been a tragic year, and his death is still being felt among those who know him best. That includes at ABC, where he hosted shows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for decades. With the show back on the air and Jimmy Kimmel hosting, it paid special tribute to Philbin, who died in July.
In a nearly two minute clip, the show highlighted some fun moments Philbin had behind the scenes with celebrities and guests, including Dana Carvey doing his Regis impression with the legend next to him. There’s also a very funny scene where Rosie O’Donnell excitedly hugs him before taping a celebrity edition of Millionaire, and he says “give her $100 bucks and get her out of here” in a very funny deadpan.
The video also shows a moment between Kimmel and Philbin interacting on the Millionaire set, as the former host showed up on the first day of filming with Kimmel at the helm. They toured the set and chatted for a bit, and later Kimmel reflected on the importance of the moment.
“It was great to see him and it was just exciting to have him there,” Kimmel said. “Because this is his show. I’m hosting, but this is his show.”
Kimmel told Philbin that he “built this house” during the tour, and gave him high praise in person.
“Regis: no one will ever be better at doing this than you. No one. Ever,” he said. “And I’m not just being false humble by saying that. It’s true. You’re the best.”
Reflecting back on that day, Kimmel said “it’s like he left me a beautiful car,” and the segment finished with some touching moments of Regis on set with others over the years. It was a fitting tribute that showed just how big an impact Philbin was on the show and how much he means to the new production to this day, and served as a touching reminder of his passing ahead of the show’s return this weekend.